A Little Caesar's employee closing up the pizza shop Saturday night in Holly Hill, Fla., was suddenly thrust into a fight for his life with a weapon-wielding man in a "clown mask", police say.
Police say the 28-year-old employee, Heriberto Feliciano, checked the security system before midnight and then walked out of the store when he was suddenly attacked by a man wearing a monster mask, Fox News reported.
Feliciano told police the man pummeled him with a wooden post until it broke, tackled him to the ground and then tried to stab him with a pair of scissors, according to Fox 35.
But Feliciano was able to pull out a concealed firearm, for which he had a permit, and shoot his attacker, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
“Even though he's being attacked he's able to pull out a concealed firearm he has and fires multiple rounds at the suspect,” Holly Hill Police Chief Stephen Aldrich told Fox 35.
The masked man lay bleeding and unresponsive when police arrived to find a pair of scissors near his body, reported the Daytona Beach News-Journal. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died.
Surveillance video of the store shows a man wearing a mask walking around the shop at night holding what looks like a wooden board. It also shows Feliciano looking outside the windows of the restaurant before going outside, when he is suddenly attacked from the right by a man swinging a long object. The video does not show the actual shooting.
Feliciano suffered injuries to his face and shoulder from the attack, police told the Daytona Beach News-Journal. Police say they believe the shooting was in self-defense and justified.
"It was an ambush type of an attack and it does appear that he was defending himself," Aldrich told WKMG. "I'm glad that he was able to defend himself and that he's okay. It's just unfortunate that this whole episode occurred," he told WFTV.
Things are now running normally at the pizza shop, where a manager told the Daytona Beach News-Journal employees were aware "something bad happened."
Police identified the man as 53-year-old Jesse L. Coggins, of Greenville, N.C. Police say he had no arrest history and it is not known how long he was in the area.
"This is very unusual for this area,” Aldrich told the station. “We're obviously aggressively pursuing this to find out where this individual came from and why this attack occurred. Very unusual."